Colts Graduation Match
Sunday 23rd April 2023 - the final match of the season for the Salisbury RFC Colts in the second annual ‘Graduation Match’ against North Dorset RFC Colts.
The match is the annual celebration of the progression of the Club’s Under 18 players into Senior Rugby. This year seventeen current club players are moving up, with a further six from the age group who left at U16 and are still actively playing rugby. Many of the players have been with the club for 12 years progressing through mini and junior sections, but at least two started playing rugby with the club this year.
The Salisbury team ran on in front of a packed crowd and dominated the first 10 minutes with fast aggressive play. With the rain pouring down and the home side having to use the full bench for injuries by half time, North Dorset started to camp in the Salisbury half, running in 3 tries to lead 17-0 at the break. As the rain eased, Salisbury came back again with a dominant display of kicking and running rugby, drawing back a score. With the game flowing back and forth, it was North Dorset who scored next to give enough space to see out the game. Despite some great attacking rugby in the last ten minutes, the depth of the opposition bench allowed them to hold out to finish the game 5-22.
A great match under the lights with a noisy crowd of family, friends and club members was a fitting tribute for the end of one chapter and the start of a new for a close-knit rugby squad.
Report: Alastair Aitken
Photos: John Palmer